Kosuke Fukudome

Despite Monday's Results, the Cubs and Dodgers Like 'em Loaded

Monday's tense victory over the Dodgers might have been much less so if the Cubs had capitalized on a bases loaded/one out situation in the last of the sixth inning. Instead Chad Billingsley turned Kosuke Fukudome's hard groundball back to the mound into a snappy, 1-2-3, inning-ending double play.

In general, the Cubs offense, which remains the highest-scoring in the NL at 5.7 R/G, has held up its end of the workload in 2008. It's certainly been true in the precise situation that Fukudome found himself.

According to numbers presented at Bill James Online (subscription required),

Cubs Hits Of The Week (For the Week of 4/14 through 4/20)

The five hits that did the most to enhance the Cubs' chance of winning during the past week of Dusty-dissing and Pirate punishment, as measured by FanGraphs' Win Probability Added (WPA):


#5 Big Hit:
Friday, v. Pittsburgh, 4th inning-- With the Cubs trailing 1-0, Kosuke Fukudome rips a leadoff triple against Ian Snell. (Fukudome would score moments later on a Mark DeRosa single). WPA .120

Game 18 Thread / Pirates @ Cubs (3 of 3)

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP *Zach Duke SP Ryan Dempster
  0-0, 2.89, 7 K, 4 BB
2-0, 2.37, 13 K, 9 BB
       
CF *Nate McLouth CF Reed Johnson
2B Freddy Sanchez SS Ryan Theriot
LF Jason Bay 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Adam LaRoche 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF Xavier Nady LF Matt Murton
C #Ryan Doumit RF Mark DeRosa
3B Jose Bautista C Geovany Soto
SS Brian Bixler 2B Ronny Cedeno
P
*Zach Duke P Ryan Dempster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WGN Radio is reporting that Kosuke Fukudome has a sebaceous cyst on his forehead which is causing some swelling in his right eyelid and thus, some vision problems. However, according to WGN's Cory Provus, Fukudome is on medication and is expected to return to the lineup on Monday.

Cubs Hits Of The Week (For The Week Ending 4/5)

The five hits that did the most to enhance the Cubs' chance of winning this week, as measured by FanGraphs' Win Probability Added (WPA):


#5 Big Hit:
Saturday v. Houston, 3rd inning--Derrek Lee cracks a solo home run off Roy Oswalt to tie the Astros, 2-2. Lee would later employ his game-tying skills to more good use. (See #4 Big Hit.) WPA .120

Fukudome's First Was Fabulous, But He's No Kaz Matsui


Kosuke Fukudome's Cub debut
was so riveting Monday afternoon, it was almost enough to distract from Kerry Wood's ninth-inning failure and the larger disappointment of losing the opener to the Brewers.

But terrific as it was, Fukudome's plate performance didn't quite match up to what one of his countrymen, Kaz Matsui, did when he first took the field for the Mets four years ago. On that evening, Matsui slugged the first pitch in his Major League career 429 feet, well over the center field fence in Atlanta's Turner Field, and set his new team off on a 7-2 season-opening victory. In addition to the homer, Matsui ripped a pair of doubles and walked twice, so he reached base five times in five PA's.

Given the way Matsui eventually stunk up New York, it could be argued that his Met career went straight downhill following that first game.

In any case, here's a review of the most prominent Japanese hitters to cross the Pacific and how they fared in their first regular season games on American soil:

It's All About Us: Opening Day 2008 From A Cub Perspective

For an Opening Day loss to a bitter in-division rival in which our ace had to leave the game prematurely, our leadoff man looked overmatched, and our new closer was tagged for three runs in an inning, that was a pretty satisfying game. All the credit goes to you, Kosuke. Thanks.

But former and perhaps future Cubs had a hand in games all across the land, and there were other Cub connections evident on this, the true Opening Day 2008.

Here is a Cub-flavored summary of today's already completed games:


D-Backs 4, Reds 2
.
Dusty loses his first game in the Cincy dugout. Corey Patterson goes
0-for-4, but doesn't strike out. Not once. In the whole game.


Nats 11, Phillies 6
.
Following their one-game home series against the Braves, the Nationals
traveled to Philadelphia to play the Phils. I can't find any way to
connect this game to the Cubs, except for the fact that scheduling a
Cubs-Brewers game in Chicago in late March when there's a perfectly
adequate domed stadium 90 miles north of Chicago is asinine...much like
scheduling the Nationals for a one-game home stand and then sending
them on the road.

Gameday Open Thread / Royals @ Cubs

It's back to Cactus League play as the Cubs host the Royals at HoHoKam Tuesday afternoon at 3:05 Central.

Kosuke Fukudome will see some familiar faces in new Royals manager Trey Hillman, who managed the past five seasons in Japan, and righthander Yasuhiko Yabuta, who pitched the last 12 seasons for Chiba Lotte. Yabuta has given up 14 hits and 8 earned runs in 7 innings pitched and Fukudome is hitting .229--I wonder if they'll talk about the good ol' days.

Gameday Open Thread / Angels @ Cubs

The Angels (10-6) visit HoHoKam this afternoon at 3:05 to play the Cubs (6-12). The game will be carried on WGN Radio, WGN-TV, mlb.tv and Gameday Audio, but no one will be tuning in, as the world's attention will be focused instead on the University of Illinois' attempt to secure an NCAA Tournament berth.

All The ???? That's Fit To Print

Chicago’s favorite former Chunichi Dragon gets the attention of the New York Times today. The article talks about how Fukudome played shortstop (badly) for his first three years as a pro, and the memory of that evoked this funny, self-deprecating description of what kind of shortstop Fukudome was:

“The kind that caused my pitchers great anxiety.”

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